Monthly Archives: October 2015

Compliments for the Impact Assessment App from the Royal Society for Public Health

One of our closest clients, Gateway Family Services,  won a couple of big awards last week. Huurah and congratulations.

richard-gatewayusingtheimpactappThey were the Royal Society for Public Health’s Three Year Health and Wellbeing Award and the Public Health Minister’s Award.

One of the things the judges identified was this Impact Assessment app, which we developed with guinea pig help from Gateway, who were among the first users.  They still use it in their daily work.

The judges said this of the way gateway understand what difference their services make..

…the strategy for the compilation of clients’ feedback is accessible and innovative, facilitating the capture of users’ comments and feelings about the service they are receiving.

Below is a video they made of just one workers use of the impact app in one week

and Gateway also  blogged about how they use the app.

We take feedback every session, no matter how short the statement, or how negative the client might be feeling. Often the negative feelings are useful because in future sessions we can look back together and say ‘look how far you’ve come!’

“I find it really useful to be able to show people how the work they’re putting in is having an effect over time.”

As an organisation, the feedback every service gets from every client is extremely useful, as there is such a variety of data. Hearing from clients directly, rather than ticking boxes, means that we are getting a truer picture of the impact we are having. Recording clients in this way means that we often see issues and patterns that might not otherwise have shown up, which helps us to develop our services. It also makes it easier for us to present information about our work, and the impact it has, to others.

The Impact Assessment App allows you to capture what clients say in text (which can they be analysed)  and also video, audio or images.



Gateway Family Services – capturing impact in public health

Gateway is one of the earliest users of the Impact assessment app.  They have used it to track the progress of more than 8800 clients across 5 projects. Their work is varied.  From health trainers helping people lose weight, stop smoking and get fitter to their Pregnancy Outreach Service, which supports some of the most vulnerable pregnant women in Birmingham.

The app sits very well with Gateway’s approach, which is to recruit staff from the communities they are supporting and build a rapport with the people they help.   The app builds on that trust by providing a simple and friendly way to give their clients a voice.

So feedback can range from a casual “Yeah good ” or “I’m not too bad thanks, have a cold though

through to people sharing intense experiences…

am a drug addict, on a script but still using heroin, i am living in a hostel and am 23 weeks pregnant. i have had two children taken away and know this child will also be taken away, but would like to have some contact with this baby. I have metal health issues and receive the higher level of ESA, I would like support with bettering my situation to enable me to have contact with this child.


I disclosed my domestic violence incident and went to hospital for an x-ray on my jaw – the waiting time was too long so I walked out. Since then we split and … I am living in temporary accomodation and feel safe here, I have suffered from depression previously, but feel anxious as my hair is falling out when I brush it. I don’t have much support from family, friends or partner, I am now 21 weeks pregnant. I am grateful that you have come to see me.Thanks for the Tommy’s book to read. You filled out the booklet for me to claim Healthy Start Vouchers.

The focus is always on what the client wants to talk about, creating space for them to share and helping track their journey; their progress in their own words. The culture is to listen and then respond to what comes out.  And people have shared experiences more 25 000 times using the Impact Assessment app.

“It gives us a greater sense of what we are achieving every day.  It gives the managers, the board and out commissioners a much deeper insight into  what the staff and clients are facing and how they are making things better.”  says chief executive Katherine Hewitt.

The Impact Assessment App has helped Gateway:

  • Get all four key services recommissioned in the face of severe budget cuts, work worth more than £1million a year.
  • Develop iterative improvements to services through analysing what the clients say and then share that with partners.
  • Introduce more mobile and digital ways of working, which have replaced a line of filing cabinets several metres long and saved on administration costs.
  • Search the evidence they are collecting quickly and routinely.
  • Take a lead with commissioners on simpler more useful ways to capture and record their impact.
  • Pitch for new work and provide evidence for bid writing to demonstrate the work they do.
  • Run their annual reporting process, with stories told straight from the Impact Assessment App.
  • Tell a constant flow of weekly case studies to show commissioners, colleagues and partners what difference their services make, Stories like Daniel’s and Rumbudzai’s

The Impact App is also been used alongside other systems and is designed to help you cross reference with any system you’re using.